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Being a hard-core rodeo cowboy means getting by with little money and less of a future. But for two hardscrabble rodeo riders, that might change….
Dean’s been around the rodeo circuit long enough to know when a new kid is down on his luck. Giving young Will a ride to the next event is just the neighborly thing to do, passing on some of the kindness strangers have shown him over the years. Who’d expect Will to be such good company? So good in fact, that Dean figures he might just keep Will around—especially since Will feels the same.
Traveling from rodeo to rodeo, enjoying all the fringe benefits they can, is a dream come true for Dean and Will. Troubles with Dean’s family and Will’s stubborn pride separate them for a while, but they always come back together when the chips are down. These two cowboys are a match made in heaven—now they just need to convince everyone else to let them live the life they love and find their future together.
Latigo first published by Torquere Press, July, 2005.Bits of Leather first published by Torquere Press, July 2007.
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I’m BA Tortuga, and I’m here to talk about food. I mean books! Specifically my book Latigo.
One of the things I get praised for, and occasionally baffle a reader with, in my books is food. I come from a place (Texas) that loves its state foods, from chicken fried steak to King Ranch casserole, from pecan pie to peach cobbler.
I also live where food is the state source of pride. Well, aside from roadrunners and Billy the Kid. New Mexico is known for green chile and biscochitos, for blue corn and fry bread.
In Latigo, a cowboy story, one of the favorites is chicken fried steak, and the other is blackberry cobbler. So I thought I would give y’all my favorite recipes for both.
Chicken Fried Steak (This one is from Texas Monthly)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons paprika
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Shiner Bock or other bock beer (I’m gluten free, so I use rice flour blend and a GF beer)
peanut oil, enough to cover meat halfway
4 tenderized round steaks (about 1/2 pound each)
2 cups Cracked-Pepper Gravy
Mix first 4 ingredients and set aside on a plate or wax paper. Whisk eggs in a large bowl, then add buttermilk and beer and whisk to blend. Set aside. In a deep, heavy skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees. While oil is heating, prepare the steaks by dredging them in flour mixture, coating evenly. Shake off any excess. Dip in egg batter, and then again in flour, evenly coating the batter so it is dry on the outside. When oil temperature reaches 350 (a drop of batter will sizzle when dropped into it), gently slide one steak into the oil. Cook about 3 minutes, then turn it, taking care not to break the crust, and cook 3 more minutes, or until nicely browned. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the other steaks. Hold cooked steaks in a 225-degree oven until all are done. Serve with Cracked-Pepper Gravy. Serves 4.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
5 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons cracked pepper
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low to medium-low heat. When foam subsides, add flour, whisking continuously until it cooks, becoming a fragrant light brown. Slowly add milk, whisking to keep lumps from forming. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Makes about 3 cups.
And here’s a blackberry cobbler to warm your heart. Dean cooks his over a campfire in a Dutch oven, so this is a simple campfire recipe.
Take one can of blackberry pie filling or 2 small containers of blueberries that have been washed and macerated with some sugar.
Toss those in an aluminum pie pan and throw some butter in on top.
Mix a yellow or white cake mix like Jiffy or Betty Crocker with a Sprite or a 7 Up. Pour that on top of the berries.
Put the pie pan (or a piece of heavy duty foil with the ingredients down in the Dutch oven and cover with the lid. When you have nice hot coals from your fire, place the Dutch oven on them, using a few charcoal pieces or wood chips on top of oven as well. Cook 30-40 minutes.
Voila. Serve with ice cream or cold heavy cream.
That’s the way to Will and Dean’s hearts. I hope they find their way into yours!
Much love, y’all.
About the author:
Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy's Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she's not doing that, she's writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA's personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.
Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.
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